Apr 16, 2018

Forthcoming Work: Baseball, Halo, Stories

Here's a quick rundown of new stuff I've got coming out in the next few months:

May 8: The Comic Book Story of Baseball
May 30: "Black Friday," a story on Tor.com
June 6: Halo: Collateral Damage #1
July: Halo: Collateral Damage #2
August: Halo: Collateral Damage #3
Sometime in 2018: "The Atonement Path," a story in Lightspeed

Mar 30, 2018

New Lineup for Yesterday

Inspired by the legendary Ogden Nash doggerel "Lineup for Yesterday," and by Opening Day, and by all the research sloshing around in my head from writing The Comic Book Story of Baseball:

after Ogden Nash

A is for Alan, who turned two with Lou
As well as any pair ever could do.

B is for Brett, who once hit .390
But became better known for the pain in his heinie.

C is for Cabrera, Miguel of renown
The slowest man ever to win a Triple Crown.

D is for Dewey, whose cannon in right
Made runners in Fenway hold up out of fright.

E is for Edgar, DH without peer
At least until David Ortiz’s career.

F is for Fernando, the Dodgers’ El Toro
A legend from Chavez Ravine to Queretaro.

G is for Gibby, in Detroit and LA
A World Series hero revered to this day.

H is for Henderson, one of a kind
As Rickey would tell you, sure, Rickey won’t mind.

I is for Ichiro, needing only one name
And hit after hit to add to his fame.

J is for Jeter, despite his numb glove
The Yankee that haters of Yankees could love.

K is for Kid, not Williams but Griffey
Whose hitting was epic and fielding was spiffy.

L is for Larkin, the Cincy shortstop
A true model sportsman, the cream of the crop.

M is for Maddux, and Murray and Manny
It’s poetic injustice! The M’s are so many!

N is for Nolan, the Ryan Express
Seven no-hitters stand out from the rest.

O is for Ozzie, the Wizard so-called
Whose backflips and dives had spectators enthralled.

P is for Pedro, the littlest ace
The best pound-for-pound, a terror to face.

Q is for Quisenberry, KC’s submariner
Who piled up saves and kept basepaths cleaner.

R is for Ripken, the new Iron Horse
2632’s what he’s known for, of course.

S is for Steroid, the reason is clear
Why A-Rod and Barry and Big Mac aren’t here.

T is for Thome, whose bat always thundered
His number of home runs is north of 600.

U is for Uecker, not much of a catcher
But a broadcaster and pitchman of much greater stature.

V is for Verlander, Tiger fireballer
In Detroit or Houston, a sure-fire Hall’er.

W is for Wade, who found chicken delicious
No other great player was so superstitious.

X is for Expos, who found Montreal
A place where no one would watch them play ball.

Y is for Yount, the Rockin’est Robin
Milwaukee just isn’t the same without him.

And Z is for Zim, a forgettable player
But a memorable coach and dugout soothsayer.

Sep 15, 2017

The Comic Book Story of Baseball

Look at this beauty of a cover for The Comic Book Story of Baseball.

It's a full-length graphic history of the game from stool ball through yesterday's box scores, with art by Tomm Coker and C.P. Smith. I'll share pages as I can, but right now I'm basking in the cover (and wondering if the Indians are ever going to lose).

The book is out May 8 from Ten Speed Press, but you can preorder it now through the retailer of your choice via this Penguin Random House page.

If you are a baseball journalist, broadcaster, player, or marketing person, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter (@alexirvine) and I'll try to make sure you get a copy.

Jan 19, 2017

An Inauguration Fiction


There wasn’t much of a fuss. They came by and took my neighbor in. His name was Abdul, he was from Afghanistan, used to tell me stories about fighting the Soviets. One time he was drunk and showed me some bullet scars. We were talking soccer another time and he said he watched the 1986 World Cup from a Tehran jail, or maybe it was 1990. I never did find out what he was in for. But anyway, they came for him today. I was outside getting the mail and I saw him walking out with the men. Two of them, and two more waiting by the van. Abdul’s wife Courtney stood on the porch. He’s got a kid, Elijah, used to play with my kids but not so much anymore. They have different interests now. For a minute I thought they were going to take Elijah too, but I guess he was still too young.

I thought about saying something, but at the same time, what do you really know? I mean, people say things. It’s all Wikileaks or the Russians or somebody, I mean who knows. It’s all just a temporary thing. I like Abdul. He’s kind of an asshole sometimes—he got a dog one time and then gave it back to the shelter when it wasn’t housebroken soon enough—but he’s a good neighbor. When his dad died we brought him food, and when our younger children were born he and Courtney brought over some really nice baby outfits. A good guy. Always on me to hire his crew to paint my house.

Funny thing is Abdul was good friends with the one serious conspiracy kook on the block, Larry. Larry’s got an arsenal in his basement. He and Abdul used to get together and talk guns. Larry's always all taxes this and immigrants that, loud talk radio coming from his garage all the time like he really needs us to know how he feels about things. Ever notice nobody listens to that stuff at a low volume? But he liked Abdul. Just goes to show you.

They let Abdul finish his cigarette. He stood at the end of his driveway regarding the butt. The four men looked everywhere but at Courtney. “Abdul, hey, man,” I called across the street when he caught my eye.

“Alex, my friend,” he said. “Everything okay.” They ducked his head into the van. I almost said something. But what would it have been? I mean, we don’t really know what’s happening.

Dec 27, 2016

Science Fiction Becomes Reality, Part the Zillionth

This is an interesting article in the New York Times about how Lucasfilm worked through the various issues involved in (SPOILER ALERT) using digitally recreated dead (Peter Cushing) and younger (Carrie Fisher) actors in Rogue One. I thought it was pretty cool to see this for a number of reasons, but one of them was that I wrote about this a few years back in Buyout (IndieBound | Amazon). One of the characters in that book is a movie director who exclusively does weird remakes of classic films using digital recreations of dead people.

Also recently there was news about Mark Zuckerberg using Morgan Freeman as the voice of his house AI. That too happens in Buyout, where the Kindred household AI has Ian McKellen's voice (as Gandalf) and his car persona is John Wayne. It's always fun to see science-fictional imaginings pop up so specifically in real life a few years later -- although I hope Buyout's central SF premise never comes to pass.

(I would be remiss if I did not now inform you that the Kindle version of Buyout is only $2.99, so, you know...)

Dec 19, 2016

The Far Side of the Moon -- A Junior Library Guild Selection

Very pleased and proud to announce that THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON has the seal of the Junior Library Guild! Now you have even more reason to preorder it!

Nov 17, 2016

Something Has Happened

Halo fans, if you were curious about what that Flood organism was doing aboard the Spirit of Fire at the end of Halo: Escalation...or if you ever wondered what Serina was referring to when she said, "Something has happened" at the end of Halo Wars...

You can read my story "Something Has Happened" and find out!

It's the leadoff piece in this terrific new anthology called Halo: Tales from Slipspace. I got my copies yesterday and read the whole thing last night. The stories are cool, and the extra art in the back of the book is excellent added eye candy.

Check it out at your LCS!

Oct 25, 2016

Now You Can Preorder The Far Side of the Moon

Attention teachers, science nerds, and lovers of space. Coming in March 2017 from Tilbury House: THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON: THE STORY OF APOLLO 11'S THIRD MAN, a middle-grade graphic novel biography of Michael Collins. Words by me, art by Ben Bishop.

Preorders make a big difference, especially with small press books. I've included the Amazon link for convenience, but I encourage you to support your local bookseller.